: News

Filed Under:

Third Graders Reenact 1939 Civil Rights Protest

Play associated audio

History buffs in Alexandria like to call the 1939 Library Sit-in "the most famous civil rights protest you've never heard of."

But thanks to a history lesson delivered by third graders from Samuel W. Tucker Elementary all of that is starting to change.

The students performed in front of a standing room only crowd at the Barrett Branch Library, where the protest occurred 70 years ago.

The crowd included relatives of the five African-American men jailed that day in 1939. The charges against those men were eventually dropped -- and the episode helped lead to the construction of a library for blacks.

Also watching this morning was 91-year old Ferdinand T. Day, former chair of Alexandria's Board of Education and the first African-American public school board chair in the state.

He grew up with all five men who took part in the 1939 sit-in, as well as the man who organized the protest, Samuel W. Tucker.

Day says the performance was a reminder that Alexandria wasn't always as friendly as it is now.

"A lot of people come to my hometown and think that it was like this years ago, but they are far wrong," Day says. "It was a typical Southern port town, with all the problems of the deep South."

Day says watching black and white 8-year-olds come together to share what they've learned makes him proud of what his hometown has become.

It's a feeling that may not have been possible without five men who walked through the library doors in 1939.

Jonathan Wilson reports...

NPR

Actor John Krasinski Takes Stock Of His 'Lottery-Ticket Life'

Krasinski says he's thankful for his big break "every single day." Three years after the wrap of The Office, he continues to branch out — he's now directing and co-starring in the film The Hollars.
NPR

Bread Grains: The Last Frontier In The Locavore Movement

Modern bakeries rely on industrial mills for their flour. But a small and growing number of bakers, chefs and pasta makers are making their own flour with the age-old method of stone milling.
WAMU 88.5

Questions About Hillary Clinton’s Newly Uncovered Emails

A federal judge orders a review of nearly fifteen thousand recently discovered Hillary Clinton emails from her time as Secretary of State. A new batch related to the Clinton Foundation was also released. Join us to discuss ongoing questions.

NPR

Instagramming In Black And White? Could Be You're Depressed

Researchers analyzed people's photo galleries on Instagram, then asked about their mental health. People who favored darker, grayer photos and filters were more likely to be depressed.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.